Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on a House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol, accused GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of giving Donald Trump a political bailout after the riot, opening the door for “crazy evidence”. in being the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
“It’s why Donald Trump is still a factor,” Kinzinger told CNN on Jan. 1. “It’s why some of the crazy elements of the Corps still exist.”
The Illinois lawmaker is among several House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president for fueling an attack on Congress in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which Trump continues to falsely insist was “stolen” and ” were set up”.
Kinzinger said the House Republican leader had a chance to tell “the truth” after the attack, but he visited the former president’s Florida compound at Mar-a-Lago weeks later, effectively “resurrecting” Trump’s political career .
The “second” Mr. McCarthy visited Trump after he leaves office in January 2021, Republicans received him “unfavorably,” Kinzinger said.
“Donald Trump should consider Kevin McCarthy his best friend because Donald Trump is alive today politically because of Kevin McCarthy,” Kinzinger said.
Mr. Kinzinger and his Republican colleague on the House Select Committee, Liz Cheney, will not return to Congress this week. Mr. Kinzinger did not seek re-election, and Ms. Cheney lost a primary to a Trump-backed challenger for control of her Wyoming House seat. All but two congressional Republicans who voted to impeach Trump lost their primaries or did not seek re-election.
As the House select committee prepared to wrap up months of work ahead of the incoming House Republican majority, the committee voted on December 19 to refer Trump to the US Department of Justice on four criminal charges, including obstruction, conspiracy and sedition . .
“Obviously what he did from a presidential perspective, from an oath perspective, is a problem,” Mr. Kinzinger said of the former president. “If that’s not a crime, I don’t know what is. If a president can incite a rebellion and not be held accountable, there’s really no limit to what a president can or can’t do.”
Mr. Kinzinger said he believed “the Justice Department will do the right thing” after the committee’s referrals, which are not binding. Federal prosecutors are separately investigating the former president in connection with the attack.
“I think he’s going to be charged, and I honestly think he should be,” he added. “If he’s not guilty of a crime, I honestly fear for the future of this country, because now any future president can say, Hey, here’s the bar. And the bar is to do whatever you can to stay in power.”